The FCA and Pensions Regulator will this week reveal over £30 million has been reported lost to pension scams since 2017.
However, this likely only represents the tip of the pension scams iceberg, with huge amounts either unreported or linked to investments victims have been persuaded to transfer into,
In 2018 alone almost £197 million of investment scams were reported to Action Fraud.
Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, comments: “With the UK set to enter recession and millions facing unemployment as the Government’s furlough scheme is pulled back, fraudsters will inevitably redouble efforts to part savers from their hard-earned pensions.
“Although around £30 million worth of pension scams might have been reported to Action Fraud since 2017, in reality this will represent just the tip of the iceberg.
“Scams in general tend to be underreported for a variety of reasons – including in some cases embarrassment on the victims’ part – while in recent years the target for scammers’ activity has increasingly focused on attempting to coerce people to transfer their pension into investment-based schemes.
“Scammers pray on vulnerability, which will inevitably rise during times of economic stress such as now. It is therefore more important than ever that savers are alive to the tell-tale signs of scams, including cold-calls out of the blue and high-pressure sales tactics.
“Social media is also increasingly a breeding ground for increasingly sophisticated and complex investment scams.
“The regulators point to hubris being the undoing of many people at risk of falling victim to pensions fraud, with 4 in 10 people aged 45-65 willing to engage with common scam tactics including time-limited or ‘guaranteed’ high-return offers. Such offers do not exist in reality and those lured by them risk losing everything.”
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